THIS WEEK'S EDITORIAL COMMENT: As we continue in the Advent
season of this year, 2010, it is dfficult to keep in focus the reason for the
season amid all the distractions of the political maneuverings taking place
in Washington. Traditionally the four weeks of Advent are marked by these
themes, in sequence, Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. Thus for this week we
should be observing with joy, Jesus' coming as the Savior of the world. In
Washington it wasn't particularly a time of joy for either the Republican or
Democrat party, and the president faced open revolt from his own party, as
some of his long promised agenda items failed to get passed by the "lame
duck" Democrat controlled Congress. Meantime the WikiLeak attacks on
international diplomacy remained out of control, even with the founder in
prison, awaiting trial. And our "count-downs" continue: 10 days till
Christmas, and 692 days till Election Day, November 6, 2012 -- 692 days
to pray for America, and prepare to vote to reclaim the kind of nation that
our founding fathers intended it to be.
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First, let's consider the traditional Christian view that this is a time for
joy. In the Scriptures, the promise of joy at the birth of Jesus was given
to shepherds in the fields, as "the angel of the Lord came upon them,
and the glory of the Lord shone round about them ... and the angel
said unto them, Fear not: for, behold I bring you good tidings of
great joy, which shall be to all people." (Luke 2: 8-10) Elsewhere in
the Scriptural accounts pertaining to Jesus' first advent, "wise men
from the east" came later to King Herod and told him that they in the
east had seen the star of the King of the Jews, and had come to worship
Him. And then as they left Jerusalem, "the star which they saw in the
east went before them, till it came and stood over where the young
child was." (Matt. 2:2,9) The wise men, referred to as "Magi," spoke
of the prophecy in Numbers 24:17,19: "there shall come a Star out of
Jacob, and a Sceptre shall arise out of Israel ... out of Jacob shall
come he that shall have dominion ..."

The "Star of Bethlehem" has always been part of the Christian belief
pertaining to the Advent season, yet through the years unbelievers have
attempted to use astronomical studies to disparage it, claiming that there
may have been a comet, or weather conditions made the stars appear
more brilliant, etc. But rather than use the frequently changing theories
of science to prove or attempt to disprove the authenticity of the
Scriptures, doesn't it make more sense to use the eternal Word of God
as the standard by which to judge the authenticity of scientific theories?

With respect to this instance, the appearance of a star to mark the first
advent of Jesus, the Scriptural account of the very creation of the heavens
and the stars therein, is clear, "In the beginning God created the Heaven
and the earth ... and God said , Let there be a firmament ... and God
made the firmament ... And God said, Let there be lights in the
firmament of heaven ... and God made two great lights ... he made the
stars also." (Genesis, chapter 1). And later David wrote, "The heavens
declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork."
(Psalm 19:1) The conclusion: if God wanted to place a star in His heaven
to mark the birth of His Son, He could do so . . . and He did.

And so, without question or doubt, the message of the angel on that date
in history remains clear and definite: the birth of Jesus is the source of
great joy for all people. Speaking to this fact in times of national crises,
in 1864, in the midst of the Civil War, one of America's greatest poets,
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, composed a poem titled "Christmas Bells."
A few years later John Calkin set the words to music, and what began as
an anti-war song has become one of our familiar Christmas carols: "I
heard the bells on Christmas Day." The last verse of the song offered
words of assurance to our troubled nation then, and are just as applicable
to us today: "And in despair I bowed my head. There is no peace on
earth, I said. For hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth,
good will to men. Then pealed the bells, more loud and deep, God is not
dead, nor does he sleep. The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, With
peace on earth, good will to men."

This is part of the enduring message of Christmas, yet there is taking
place a widespread effort to remove the Christian aspect -- take "Christ"
out of "Christmas" -- and make it just another holiday. What is happening
in our nation is strange. There is no effort to change the name of the Islam
observance of Ramadan . . . there is no effort to change the name of the
Jewish observance of Chanukah . . . yet more and more we are seeing the
greeting "Merry Christmas" changed to "Happy Holidays," and the old
familiar manger scenes, and even festive Christmas trees are banned from
public places. The period of time off from school is no longer called the
"Christmas vacation," but is now the "Winter recess." And perhaps the
most difficult to understand -- retail merchants who count on Christmas
shopping as their biggest income period each year, have cut the word
"Christmas" out of their advertising and seasonal decorations. It's hard
to understand!

And amidst these increasing attacks on this holy season of remembrance
and celebration, news of disturbing national and international affairs
tend to take our thoughts off of the real "reason for the season."

We all have heard about "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus," in
an editorial in "The Sun," a New York newspaper, in 1897. Today we
can borrow from that phrase and write, "Yes, there is a 'lame duck'
Congress." With Democrat majorities in both the House and the Senate,
and a Democrat president in the White House -- this is the Liberals' last
oportunity to pass unfinished items on the Obama agenda, before the next
session of Congress is convened in January with the Democrat majority
in the House gone as a result of the November elections. In brief, here
are some of the conflicts still raging, as available days to pass or reject
some of the still pending goals of the Obama administration expire

In no particular order, here a few of the issues which must be dealt with:
Repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" with respect to homosexuals serving
openly in the U.S. military. This, of course, was one of the pledges Obama
made in his campaign. Opinion, pro and con, is sharply divided among the
top military leaders -- the Secretary Defense and the Joint Chiefs Chairman
favor it; the commanding generals in the Marines and the Air Force oppose
it. And there is this interesting side issue: Obama brought in Bill Clinton
to support his tax bill compromise -- but Obama is at the same time using
every possible Congressional tactic to advance the repeal of DADT,
which Clinton signed into law. Skip MacLure, writing in "Conservative
Outpost," commented: "To show you the severity of the issue, several
high ranking officers have notified the PC chair-warmers that such a
change would have a negative effect on combat effectiveness. Had the
Pentagon taken their ‘poll’ from combat line troops, instead of the
local gay bars around DC, they’d have gotten a far different result."

Sharply increased taxes on everyone on January 1 if Congress allows
the "Bush tax cuts" to expire. In a last minute attempt to salvage his pledge
to protect the "middle class" (instead of playing the "race card" Obama is
now playing the "class card"), the president reached a compromise that
offers protection for everyone, not just his much cited "middle class."
And the Senate has agreed -- but now we wait to see what Nancy Pelosi
and her soon expiring Liberal majority in the House will do.

WikiLeaks, and a do-nothing Attorney General continue to cause untold
and un-estimated damage to our National security and make our already
impotent diplomatic efforts increasingly ridiculous among the other nations
of the world. Just these few comments; from Charles Krauthammer, “The
WikiLeaks document dump is sabotage, however quaint that term may
seem.” Mark Thiessan from American Enterprise Institute: "WikiLeaks
represents a new and unprecedented cyber threat that cannot be
ignored or wished away." Alana Goodman of Culture and Media Institute:
"Hillary Clinton is right – WikiLeaks has attacked America. The only
question is: Will America return fire?" Finally, the always out-spoken
Pat Buchanan, speaking of the WikiLeaks devotees, said: “They’re
going to increase in number because loyalty to the United States is
diminishing. Basically, I think American empire, if you will, is coming
down. They probably put them [American classified information] all
over the world to foreign agents. The empire is coming down."

And among other unsettled issues, not Congressional, but relevant at this
time of the year, is an announcement that the U.S. has abandoned its effort
to persuade Israel to freeze construction of Jewish settlements, dealing a
blow to efforts to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. "We reached
the conclusion this is not the time to renew direct negotiation by
renewing the moratorium," a U.S. diplomat told reporters in Israel, thus
ending weeks of intense U.S. diplomacy. The decision marked a major
foreign policy setback for Obama, who had appealed personally to Israel
to extend its temporary construction freeze. In Washington, officials said
the U.S. was weighing a return to indirect talks following its failure to
revive the direct negotiations.

And that is but a thumb-nail sketch of some of the problems facing our
nation as we move forward in the Advent season -- which we Christians
will do, and with joy.

And now referring back to our comments on the "Star of Bethehem,"
here is this somewhat more timely report on the Inauguration of President
Obama from NBC-TV's Andrea Mitchell on the "Nightly News", Jan. 20,
2009: “What a day it was. It may take days or years to really absorb
the significance of what happened to America today....When he [Barack
Obama] finally emerged, he seemed, even in this throng, so solitary,
somber, perhaps already feeling the weight of the world, even before
he was transformed into the leader of the free world....The mass
flickering of cell phone cameras on the Mall seemed like stars shining
back at him.” How does one comment on this media attempt to make
him "the anointed one?"

Our research found these examples of "What Others Are Saying."

Wm. Cohen (Fmr. Secretary of Defense): who spoke of the "overly
intrusive probes of TSA employees who treat errant paper clips as
lethal box-cutters and make you feel your next stop is Guantanamo."

Donald Trump (Legendary entrepreneur): "With the coldest winter
ever recorded, with snow setting record levels up and down the coast,
the Nobel committee should take Al Gore's Nobel Prize back."

Howard Dean (Fmr. Democrat presidential candidate): "Americans
don't know what's going on and therefore the media can have their way
with them intellectually."

Mike Hukabee (Fmr. Arkansas Governor): "If we want to keep our
nation's secrets SECRET ... store them where President Obama stores
his college transcripts and birth certificate."

Ann Coulter (Conservative commentator): "The Pentagon's poll on
'don't ask, don't tell' is beyond idiotic. Instead of asking whether the
troops support repeal of DADT, the Pentagon asked only if they can
learn to play nice with the gays."

Skip MacLure (In Conservative Outpost): "I’m pretty certain that
every bad actor worldwide is watching Obama’s fumbling
mismanagement of the affairs of our nation, looking for every
weakness, every security lapse, every leak. As recent events have
shown us, that can be considerable... Obama’s boondoggles are legion
and their cumulative effect will not be known for years yet ...Our
enemies gather while Obama and his socialist cabal secretly, and not
so secretly, do everything they possibly can to weaken this country in
the face of the threat we face, in a world seemingly gone mad and at
the brink of conflagration."

Jay Leno (late night TV humorist): "It was bad enough when the
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents would go
through your underwear in your luggage. Now they’re going through
your underwear while you’re wearing it.”

Tony Perkins (Family Research Council): "If you open the dictionary
to the definition of 'obsessed,' don't be surprised if you see a picture
of Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.). The Senate Majority Leader is so
completely hung-up on the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' repeal that he seems
almost legislatively paralyzed. Webster's calls obsession a 'persistent
disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea' -- and that's
exactly what we've witnessed from Senate leaders these last few weeks."

A great touch of humor amid all the Washington political wrangling.
It was almost a breath of sanity in the clouds of confusion, bungling and
uncertainty that dominate the Washington scene these days. And if you
find it hard to conceive of Bill Clinton as representing sanity -- at least
it was a change from the teleprompted inanities which characterize the
Obama speeches. This headline from the NY Post said it well: "Clinton
steals show from Obama at White House." And here's the story from
the Post, in case you missed seeing the comedy show on TV: "Bubba's
back in charge! After making brief remarks in a joint appearance
following their private meeting, Obama graciously ceded the
microphone to Clinton. Clinton grabbed it and proceeded to hold court
for the next 30 minutes in a dominating performance, leaving Obama
looking like a bystander, instead of the leader of the free world ...'I'm
going to let him speak very briefly,' Obama said, saying he had to go
to 'just one more Christmas party' -- and then looked on in silence as
his Democratic predecessor expounded on a series of subjects ...
Obama then literally looked at his watch and then left, leaving Clinton
to soliloquize about taxes, Haiti, interest rates and community banking."
Or as the Washington Post put it: "If not a transfer of power, the whole
show seemed at least a temporary handoff." For just those few minutes,
it seemed like we were hearing from someone who understands what is
going on in our world today.

Obama again shows that he and Christianity don't fit together well.
During his recent trip to India and Indonesia, he mis-quoted the motto
of the United States in a speech at the University of Indonesia: "In the
United States, our motto is E pluribus unum — out of many, one," he
said, then compared it to the Indonesian motto, "Bhennika Tunggal Ika
— unity in diversity." The official motto of the U.S., designated by a
1956 law, is "In God We Trust." ("E pluribus unum" appears on the
ribbon held in the beak of the eagle on the Great Seal of the U.S.) The
erroneous reference followed his omission of the "Creator" when
speaking of the self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence.
The students at the Indonesian university probably know what the official
U.S. motto really is, but members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus
have sent the president a letter, calling upon him to issue a public
correction for "misrepresenting things as foundational as the
Declaration of Independence and our national motto." In her own
inimitable style, Ann Coulter has made this assessment of the president's
religious beliefs: "The nonsense about President Obama being a
Muslim has got to stop. I rise to defend him from this absurd accusation
by pointing out that he is obviously an atheist... Leave aside the fact
that neither of his parents were Christians ... The only evidence for
Obama's Christianity is that he faithfully attended the Rev. Jeremiah
Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ for 20 years. Yes, the guy
bellowing 'God damn America!' is the one vouching for Obama's

And now here are a few random, "Afterthoughts" . . .

The TSA "love pats" screening rules cause a diplomatic problem.
The Indian Ambassador to the US, Meera Shankar, was pulled from an
airport security line and patted down by a TSA agent in Jackson, MS,
despite having told them of her diplomatic status. Our Secretary of State,
Hillary Clinton says the administration would be “reviewing the policies”
after this pat-down of India’s ambassador -- who was wearing a
traditional sari -- brought a rebuke from New Delhi. India's external
affairs minister called for an apology, telling reporters at parliament in
New Delhi that the incident was “unacceptable to India.” It would
seem that some intelligent "profiling" would make sense and avoid
confusion and more incidents like this one -- but for some reason, the
Liberals have made "profiling" an almost obscene word in this country.

And speaking of that PC rejected concept of "profiling" -- In just
the last month, several taxi cab drivers in New York have been robbed,
shot, stabbed and killed. The suspects have been predominately black
or Hispanic. But now, cabbies are firing back -- racially profiling fares
and being told not to pick them up. "I don't care about racial profiling.
Sometimes it's good that we are racially profiling. The God's honest
truth is 99 percent of the people that are robbing, stealing, killing
these drivers are blacks and Hispanics," said New York Taxi Cab
Union President, Fernando Mateo. The Sacramento Taxi Cab Ass'n.
Vice President Kazman Zaidi agrees with Mateo, noting that in the
California capital city the last six violent crimes against local cabbies
were also committed by blacks and Hispanics.

In case you weren't aware of it: a Bloomberg National Poll, conducted
Dec. 4-7, disclosed that more than 50 percent of Americans say they are
worse off now than two years ago when President Obama took office,
and two-thirds believe the country is headed in the wrong direction.

Janet Napolitano used a forbidden phrase, "Islamist terrorism," when
as head of Homeland Security she said last week:“My assessment is that
the threat environment now is increasingly active and that it is not
restricted to plots that are hatched overseas and then flown into the
United States, but that it also now includes an increasing amount of
hometown or homegrown terrorist activity, particularly by individuals
who have become radicalized and associated with Al Qaeda or Islamist
terrorism beliefs and techniques and tactics.” Ooooops . . . .

Important words from our nation's Founding Fathers . . .
This has always been an imporant part of ANC, because we feel that the
men who actually established the United States of America did so under
strong convictions as to what this nation should be. Not all of those who
are in positions of leadershp in our government agree, or some of them
do not even understand who or what the "Founding Fathers" were. A
case in point was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's statement last week
when she spoke in favor of the "Dream Act," and she said that the
founders came to this country to make America more American. But here
is her quote: "In coming here, these new comers, from that time a
couple hundred years ago and to this day, by coming with that
optimism and hope and commitment to a better future for the next
generation, they made America more American. So tonight, we have
an opportunity to identify with the aspirations of our founders." What
she obviously doesn't understand is that of the 56 signers of the
Declaration of Independence, all but 9 were born in the 13 colonies, and
of those 9, only James Wilson and Alexander Hamilton are ranked as
among the most quoted Founding Fathers. No, Nancy -- the Founding
Fathers did not come to America; they were born here on this continent,
and created this nation.

But before we present this week's selection of quotes from our Founding
Fathers, here is a bit of history, relevant to this time of the year, which
reminds us of what kind of men they were. On December 12, 1787,
Pennsylvania became the 2nd state to join the new Union. One of the
Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin, was serving as Governor of
Pennsylvania, and helped draft the state's 1776 Constitution, which
included this requirement for every member of the state's legislature:
"Each member of the legislature, before he takes his seat, shall make
and subscribe the following declaration: 'I do believe in one God,
the Creator and Governour of the Universe, the Rewarder of the good
and Punisher of the wicked, and I do acknowledge the Scriptures of
the Old and New Testament to be given by Divine Inspiration.'"

And, Nancy, here are some of the other things they believed:

"Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection,
safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit,
honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men;
therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and
indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or
totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity,
and happiness require it." -- John Adams, 1776

"Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the
people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe
depositories." -- Thomas Jefferson, 1781

"It is too early for politicians to presume on our forgetting that the
public good, the real welfare of the great body of the people, is the
supreme object to be pursued; and that no form of government
whatsoever has any other value than as it may be fitted for the
attainment of this object." -- James Madison, 1788

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